After finishing fifth overall at the Tour de Romandie, Vincenzo Nibali (Astana) is beginning to get frustrated with his lack of success in 2014. His best performance so far this season is third on stage four of the Tour of Oman, back in February.
The Sicilian went on the attack during the queen stage of the Tour de Romandie, but cracked when Chris Froome (Sky) – who would later finish second – accelerated away from him. Nibali has been as aggressive as ever this year, attacking at every available opportunity, but nothing has paid off for him. The lack of results has left him pondering where he is going wrong this season.
"For me it has certainly not been a happy start with several problems that have hindered me," Nibali told Gazzetta dello Sport. "It’s not important for me to spend too much time thinking about what others are doing, but sorry I can’t do it. It is clear that this can not continue. When one thing does not go as you want it to, nothing goes right. I, we, must understand the reasons.”
Nibali is currently building towards his biggest target for this season the Tour de France - which starts on July 5 - where he is expected to be Chris Froome's biggest rival for the yellow jersey. The Italian last rode the Tour de France in 2012, finishing third behind race winner Bradley Wiggins and Froome.
At this point last year, Nibali had already taken the overall classification at Tirreno-Adriatico, a stage win and the general classification at the Giro del Trentino, and was in prime form to take victory at the Giro d'Italia. Nibali will have to pick things up if he hopes to match team Sky in July, but with two months until the race starts in Yorkshire he isn't panicking just yet.
"Last year I was a Nibali from another planet. Now, at this point, I'm normal. Terrestrial," said Nibali . "Now, however, we must draw a line and start over. The Tour does not start tomorrow and I'm not discouraged. I have had more difficult times, but I will never give up."